Matrix Report - November 2020


Smart Training and Recruitment is a private vocational training provider based in Newport, Isle of Wight but operating across most of the English regions for the best part of the last two decades. Smart offers apprenticeships to the employees of Levy and non-Levy paying companies and will also place learners using resources such as the Indeed website to recruit at intermediate, advanced and higher levels. Management level courses at Level 3 and Level 5 are gaining in popularity.

The sectors in which Smart operates include hospitality and catering, business administration, customer service, business improvement techniques, team leading, management, health and social care, and retail, with over 800 current apprentices, and a further 100 learners supported by Advanced Learner Loans.

Due to the impact of the Levy reforms there has been a reduction in apprenticeships. A growing area is the provision of traineeships for increasing employability, although as most of the placements are in British Heart Foundation charity shops, the lockdown has created a temporary obstacle. Smart is applying for additional funding under the Kickstart Scheme, and currently there are about 50 trainees. A dedicated Functional Skills service is integrated with the rest of its delivery, for English and maths qualifications at Levels 1 and 2.

As direct funded by the ESFA, Smart was subject to Ofsted inspection in 2017 and rated ‘Good’, and has been matrix accredited since 2005.